Creative Fatal1ty Gaming Headset ReviewDesja -
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I was very impressed when I got to review the Xtreme Gamer Card from Creative, so I am really going to thoroughly test this headset’s capabilities. We will be running through a gaming test, a music test, and a DVD movie test to find the limitations of its capabilities. My goal is to make this headset crackle. As for the mic, I am going to test it out on Teamspeak to see if the noise canceling really works. I also want to see if the voice quality is up to par. For comparison, I will be testing the Sennheiser 437 HD's and the KOSS UR/10 headphones.
- Intel Core Duo E6600 Processor
- 2 GB Kingston PC2 5300
- Asus P5B Motherboard
- Nvidia 8600GTS Video Card
- 450watt PSU
- 320GB Seagate SATA 2 HD
- LG DVD and DVD burner
- Creative Fatal1ty sound card
- Windows XP SP2
- Bioshock (Gaming)
- iTunes (Music)
- Team Speak (Voice Application)
- Superman Returns (DVD Movie)
As I did in the last review, I looked on the Creative website and Bioshock still seems to be the game of choice for the Fatal1ty series testing. So I started up the game, turned the volume all the way up and jumped right in. The Fatal1ty headset fits my ear much better then my Sennheiser HD 437 did the last time I tested with this game. With the Sennheiser headphones, I could still hear traffic outside and dogs barking in the neighborhood. I couldn’t get totally into the game, which I didn’t mind so much because, as I stated in the previous article, this game is creepy as hell. For those that want intimate game play, the Fatal1ty headset succeeded in scaring the hell out of me. The Fatal1ty headset blocks out almost all background noise, making for a much more interactive game. To test the 3D capability, I would walk up to a flame and slowly turn. The sound actually does seem to be three dimensional. It put me off a bit when I remembered I was still wearing headphones and not sitting in the middle of my 5.1 surround sound system.
Sennheiser 437 HD:
Sennheiser headphones are built for sound quality, and that is just what I experienced. I heard every shot, scrape, bang, and crash as clear as I did with the Fatal1ty headset. The only drawback was the design of the headphones; I was able to hear too much background noise in the neighborhood. It was just noticeable enough to be an annoyance that got worse as I played.
Ah yes, now I remember why I hate headphones for gaming. Unlike the other two headphones, this pair did not have the two-way headset speakers necessary for taking advantage of the CMSS-3D effect. I could not pinpoint where sound was coming from unless it was to my right or left. I died much more often with this set of headphones and would not recommend gaming with them.
I went through a range of music, starting with some mellow stuff for sound quality. Then progressed into what I like to call headphone breakers (heavy bass rap and distorted punk with hundreds of bass pedal hits per minute). The classical music was probably the best on this headset, as it hit every note, even notes I didn’t notice in the past with my surround sound. The only other time I was ever this wowed by a pair of headphones was when I put on a $500 pair of Grados. The Fatal1ty’s came very close, every instrument and every percussion note was easily picked out.
When I switched over to rap, I completely expected it all to end for the Fatalit1y. I was mistaken. Every bass hit and every note hit hard, and hit clean. The bass actually vibrated the headset a little, and I had to turn them down because my ears started to hurt. In the past I would have never had to turn a headset down for any reason other then crackling. I could not get the Fatal1ty headset to crackle no matter how hard I tried. The distorted punk with fast drumming didn’t pan out either, no fraps or crackles throughout the entire test.
Sennheiser 437 HD:
This is where the Sennheiser’s show their true colors. Although I did get a bit of crackle with the “headphone breaker” styled music, these headphones excelled in the classical and more melody intensive tracks. The quality is incredible and certain songs actually made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. The Fatal1ty and the Sennheisers were neck and neck. Fatal1ty won for the bass, but the Senheisers inched a bit ahead for the classical arrangements.
Oh what can I say about the KOSS headphones for music? Okay I got it now: first take a bucket of water, second stick your head in it, then place your headphones into a tin can next to the bucket (assuming you're talented enough to do this with your head in a bucket) and try to guess what song is playing. Perhaps I may have overexaggerated this a tad, so I will conclude by saying that the KOSS did not perform well at all. The headphones crackled for all types of music, and the overall volume was about half the loudness of the other two headphones tested.
Great clean sound, and I very easily picked out where everything was coming from. It is hard to watch a movie with headphones on, but as the movie went on, I once again almost forgot that I had the headset on. The 3D sound was great and the bass in Jor-El’s voice was very clear and impressive. I don’t think I would mind watching movies with this headset again in the future.
Sennheiser 437 HD:
Clarity was very noticeable, but the bass left something to be desired, something I noticed in the music test as well. I liked the sound, but nowhere near as much as I enjoyed the Fatal1ty headset. It was a bit more comfortable than the Fatal1ty headset as the movie went on, which was notable.
Out of all the tests, I would say this is the one where the KOSS headphones did their personal best. I can give it at least the booby prize; there is no comparison to the other two headsets, it was uncomfortable and bass was non-existent. The KOSS do serve a purpose for working outside, hiking, biking, or anything of the sort, they will do in a pinch. For serious gaming, DVD watching, or music for us music snobs, they don’t make the cut.
Since this is a headset, its main purpose is for communication. Being able to contact your teammates in a clear, loud, and understandable way could mean the difference between victory and defeat. There is nothing worse then having to repeat yourself.
While using Team Speak, I was able to communicate very easily with my teammates. Having the mic on/off button close at hand is nice for those times you get shot and don’t want everyone else to hear your colorful language. I also found it useful for playing with my eight year old son when he beats me in an online game. Instead of taunting the poor child, I can scream my head off in my office and no one is the wiser.
Being that the other two comparisons are headphones and not headsets, I did not use them for this test.